Friday, July 31, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Water Balloons, How Not to Enjoy a Movie Classic, and Fun Ways to Pass an Hour When You Don't Like Being Comfortable

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


We had our annual Evans family water balloon fight. We only do it once a summer because, like camping, it's fun but requires so much prep work  I can only take doing it once every 365 days.

We make it big, though. We fill about 300 balloons (which probably sounds like a lot but keep in mind there are 8 of us,) put them in buckets on opposing sides of the yard, and split up into teams and launch the water balloons across the divide.

Usually we wait for a Saturday but this time Phillip snuck out of the house on his lunch break to participate, then went back in (working from home is the bessssssst) while the kids and I picked up all the teeny tiny balloon pieces scattered in the yard.

"Why doesn't Daddy have to help clean up?!" my indignant 8-year-old moaned.

I didn't even have to say anything before my older kids jumped to his defense: "Because he's working to buy you water balloons and water."

Well said.


For the first time, I watched Casablanca. The impetus for this was visiting Morocco for The Educational Summer Vacation, where Casablanca is set. The connection may be tenuous, but it's still there.

I loved the movie, even though I had a little trouble following what was going on all the time because I'm not exactly well-versed in my WWII politics. It didn't help that my 12-year-old was oblivious to the fact that talking nonstop over the characters in a movie where literally ALL the action happens through dialogue does not improve the viewing experience.

I missed THE MOMENT, the "maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life" moment because he was talking about the stairs on movie sets. I was so irritated and re-watched the last 10 minutes by myself after everyone went to bed.

Just in case you think you'll get to enjoy movies more when you no longer have to get up to take preschoolers to the bathroom in the middle of it: you won't.


With school out and not much going on, the kids are finding themselves with lots of time on their hands to work on projects of their own invention.

One idea they recently had is to write and record a scene, then do the sound effects separately like Foley artists. One of them may or may not be learning how to use a bow staff in preparation for the scene. I don't really understand what's going on.

If you don't know what Foley is, I highly recommend watching this video. You'll never look at the sounds in a movie the same way again.


The older kids recently binge-watched the entire first season of "The Mandalorian" with Phillip, and now all they can talk about is Baby Yoda. (Now I know what the entire Internet was going nuts over in December.)

Right now they're in the process of trying to convince the youngest to be Baby Yoda for Halloween, and having intense negotiations about which one of them gets to be the Mandalorian.

They've even toyed with the idea of the oldest three being the Mandalorian and the youngest three being Baby Yodas, although the 8-year-old would end up being more of a Tween Yoda and I'm not sure if that even works.


This week we began training the rats to do their very first trick. We're keeping it simple and teaching them to come when we call.

Not only will it be fun to teach Piper and Scout something, I can envision it being useful when one of them escapes from the kids and we need to lure it back to the cage.

Speaking of the rats, the kids continue to invent toys for them. Rats are smart animals that get bored easily and like new challenges, so it's perfect. Their latest is a plastic cup suspended from the cage ceiling with treats in it.

As it turns out, this is every bit as entertaining for us to watch as it is for them trying to figure it out.


Recently our youth organization at church got the okay to hold in-person activities again as long as everyone wears a mask and the group is no larger than 10 people. (I personally am not comfortable with indoor activities so everything I plan will be outside for the time being.)

This week we had an lawn movie night with a projector, and it was pretty great to see all the girls in person instead of just over Zoom or Google Hangouts for the first time since March!


Believe it or not, I'd forgotten how much I hate activity planning. The list of things that can go wrong during any given activity is infinite. So you try to anticipate what might go wrong, but not only does that make you crazy, it doesn't really even help because no matter what you do, there's still something you didn't think of  and that's the thing that happens.


When my teenagers had their dental cleanings, the waiting room was closed because of COVID-19 so I stood and waited in the hallway.

After 15 minutes standing started to get uncomfortable and I thought about going out to sit in the car, but I stuck around because the hygienist always comes out to ask permission to take X-rays or put on fluoride or something.

A little while later, I said to myself, "Well, they're probably close to done now." Ten minutes after that, I was like, "Okay, I guess I actually would've had time to go out to the car before but they're definitely almost done now."

Repeat that thought process a bunch more times and suddenly you've been standing outside the dentist's office for an hour and your back is killing you. What was the most fun YOU had this week?

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Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

We so enjoyed the Mandlorian. It’s pretty impressive when the most hilarious character in the series doesn’t say a word. The girls have been begging for a water balloon fight, but it’s just too hot!

AnneMarie said...

That's so fun that you guys watched the Mandalorian! We loved it, and I am hoping that the next season is good too :)

jen said...

My "what the heck did I get myself into" fun this week was doing a clean out for my kiddo's bowels... and then having to deal with vomit and a severely-dehydrated kid for 24 hours. Kiddo is keeping down juice now but isn't interested in anything else.

#specialneedsparenting #toomanybodilyfluids #Jenneedstogotosleepbecauseitis3am